French Fries and Fingernails?!?! NOT TOGETHER…GROSS!
A few weeks ago I began a series on Self-Love with a blog post entitled, “How to Love Yourself First,” followed by, “Are You Constantly Searching for Love? Here’s One Sure Step to Finding Love.” Last week I continued with, “She Learned to Love Herself…And So Can You.”
Which leads us to today.
In the last post, I reached out to you and asked you to share what self-love means to you, how you practice it, what it looks like. I didn’t want to be all alone in this self-love party, so I requested your input.
And thank goodness you came through! Otherwise, today you’d only be hearing a story about french fries and fingernails….
Self-Love and French Fries?
You’ve seen my pictures throughout this blog or maybe on my Facebook page, you may also know that along with being a writer, I also teach Pilates part-time…on the surface I may look like I make healthy eating choices. And I do. Sometimes.
But I have to share a secret with you. Apart from my lifelong love affair with fruit, I could easily survive on McDonald’s french fries, Puffy Cheetos, and buttered popcorn.
From around January through March of this year I had an especially hardcore relationship with the french fries. I would spy those golden arches, and as if controlled by puppet strings, I would pull straight up to the drive-thru, order a medium order of fries, already reaching for the $1.83 before the total flashed on the screen.
I would repeat the next day. Then the next. And the next. McDonald’s french fries easily became a six, sometimes seven, day a week habit.
Finally, I told somebody about it. Actually I told several somebody’s about it…hoping that one of them would say something to shake some sense into me.
I heard it ALL. And ignored it all. Back I went. Day after day. Brain chemistry growing more addicted to the greasy, salty, piping hot morsels each and every day. So eager to eat them I’d burn the roof of my mouth, unable to wait for the fries to cool.
One March afternoon I really burned the roof of my mouth; I’m sure it was still tender from the day before. And probably the day before that. I wasn’t giving it time to heal with my crazy eat-and-repeat cycle.
Then it dawned on me…the faster I ate those delicious, nasty fries, the faster I could pretend I hadn’t. The faster the evidence was gone. Grab a napkin, wipe my mouth, wipe my fingers, toss the contents of the white paper-bag in the trash, and wipe my mind and my conscience clean.
Now, this is NOT the part of the story that I tell you, But then I chose to love myself and in doing so, I only put healthy things in my body. The end.
No, what I did do was this:
I got help.
- I asked a friend to be my accountability partner until I could do it on my own.
- I also asked my acupuncturist to treat my “craving” points during my treatments—which worked surprisingly well!
I think of the accountability friend and acupuncture as tools I used to get me over the hump.
But here is where the self-love comes in:
- I did not beat myself up because I “knew better.”
- I did not give myself rules laden with toddler-language-labels: Okay, if you’re “good” all week, then you can “treat yourself” on Saturday.
Weeks went by, maybe five or six, for me to re-established and re-condition my body to welcome and even crave a healthier balance of foods. Then one day in mid-May I pulled in to McDonald’s. I placed an order for medium fries, waited for them to cool (slightly), and ate each and every one slowly with a huge smile on my face.
No guilt. No regret. Completely satisfied. The type of satisfaction you FEEL acutely when you honor yourself. The type of satisfaction that wants for nothing.
I drove off and haven’t been back since. I will. I’m sure of that. And I’ll love myself through it then, too.
Little Pink Fingernails
Here’s the short version of my nail story:
I don’t get manicures. They feel splurgy, not at all practical (because I can so easily file and polish my own nails, thank you—what a waste). Then one morning I glanced over at my girlfriend Julie’s nails and more-or-less thought out loud, “Your nails are beautiful. Where do you have them done?”
I knew instantly, there was no vanity or frivolity in those nails—only an expression of self-love.
Julie is an amazing energy worker. She has been working with me on my thoughts about money, about allowing, about creating, about a lot. In a very connected way, I felt a shift when I looked at her nails. At my new nails-to-be!
Manicures are not a practical way to spend money (I’m very practical in how I spend money), manicures are too girly, or maybe too showy, or too something that I didn’t feel I was.
But now I am.
I will tell you this. Each and every time I look down at my short, little polished pink nails with a tiny-bit-o-glimmer, I feel pretty. I feel feminine. I feel worthy.
Such a small act of self-love. Actually, ten little acts of self-love that I glance down at 30, 40, maybe 50 times a day, each time lifting my mood by placing a smile on my heart. Now that’s quite a return!
From Self-Love Stories to How-To’s
First, thank you for sharing so many ways you love yourself; there were quite a few vulnerable sharings, too. Thank you for being so brave.
For the most part, your comments fell into three general buckets:
- list of self-love acts
Since I shared two stories, I’ll finish this post with two how-to’s from you, the reader. And next week, we will wrap up this series with a list of your self-love acts as well as several discoveries you made. Stay tuned, the discoveries may surprise you….
Third-Person How-To (from Amy)
For me, it [self-love] is a constant struggle. A struggle past self-doubt and insecurity, past worry of what others think of me. I work to push it to 3rd person: meaning, I ask myself, if my friend were feeling like this, what would I tell her? I try hard to trust that just as I would want my friend to trust the truth I am telling her. It’s a daily process and one that I continue to build.”
Thank you for sharing, Amy! Vulnerabilities and all.
Little-Girl How-To (from Joanyett)
Self-love is huge for me. I would have to agree with Amy in that I struggle everyday. I’m a mother, lover, employee, friend, sister…it’s difficult for me to not want to please all the time. I’m a giver. But I make so many mistakes along the way. When I start to feel overwhelmed and when I feel that I’m focusing on my mistakes more than my accomplishments I declare one simple statement: “This is not a ‘beat yourself up’ today Lacy.”
Lacy is my family name and it’s a name I consider affectionately used by my family and very close friends. So when I declare that statement I mean it. It reminds me of who I am to me. It reminds me that I’m human and if no one else sees it that way it’s fine. I love me..that little girl named Lacy.”
Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with us, Joanyett. What if we could all remind ourselves who we are, (which means we’d need to KNOW who we are first)? Then once there, act from our Truth, not giving a damn if anyone else saw it that way. It would be our Truth, we’d own it, because we know who we are…and we’d be gentle to the little girl, or boy, inside each of us.
There’s Still Time!
If you haven’t sent me your discoveries or acts of self-love yet, simply write them down in the comment section below or send me a private message: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you a beautiful week of self-love.